Star Trek Enterprise: Captain Jonathan Archer by Art Asylum

Scattered throughout the last few months I’ve been posting features of stuff that I’m finding in my Toy Crawlspace, and some of that has been a cornucopia of Enterprise figures. The Crawlspace hunt has slowed down lately, partly because I’ve been too busy with Christmas coming, and partly because I’m still waiting for the chemical fog bomb I set off to kill the mutant bat infestation that has taken root up there. Anyway, it’s going to be a real struggle for me to keep daily content going this week with how crazy-busy I will be, so I’m trying to tackle some quick and easy stuff. And that’s where Archer comes in, because he’s quite similar to the Malcolm Reed and Travis Mayweather figures I looked at not too long ago. We should be able to do him justice rather briefly.

stearcher1

There’s the Enterprise packaging. It’s a card and bubble, but it’s huge and the clever use of printed inserts make it look more like a window box than an actual carded figure. The presentation here is great and you can tell a lot of love went into it. The inserts are printed with all sorts of panel lines to make it look like the hull of the ship and the window displays the figure quite nicely. There are even cutouts on the side panels to show off some of his gear. If you’re careful and have a razor blade handy, you might be able to preserve the packaging, but I just tore this sum’bitch open.

stearcher2

stearcher3

As I’ve noted before, I like the Enterprise uniforms. They look practical and are convincing as something our early deep space explorers might actually wear. They are not, however, the most exciting design for an action figure. Nonetheless, Art Asylum went out of their way to make it something special. The torso part of the jumpsuit is made of soft rubbery plastic laid over the figure’s buck. It’s a cool effect that adds to what could have been a rather boring figure. The suit is loaded with sculpted wrinkles, cinching around the belt, zippers, and it features the departmental piping on the shoulders and the Enterprise patch on the shoulder.

stearcher4

The Art Asylum inmates have always been pros at sculpting great portraits for their figures and Archer here is no exception. The likeness to Scott Bakula is quite impressive and the paintwork is pretty clean. You need to get in really close to see any tiny inconsistencies in the hairline.

stearcher8

If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t want your Starfleet Captain sitting on the bridge all day, you should find the articulation here pretty accommodating. The arms have ball joints at the shoulders, swivels the biceps and wrists, and they are hinged at the elbows. The hip joints are concealed by the jumpsuit, but they feel they have some kind of rotating hinge offering a good range of motion. The legs have swivels in the thighs, hinges in the knees, and ball jointed ankles. Archer can swivel at the waist and features a ball jointed neck with a generous range of movement.

stearcher6

stearcher5

stearcher7

As for accessories, you get the same assortment of Starfleet Gear that came with the other Bridge Officers: A phase pistol, a communicator, and a tricorder. You also get an extra pair of hands. The communicator and tricorder are pretty small and difficult for him to hold all that well, but the phase pistol is still a really cool piece, which Archer can wield brilliantly. Finally, you get the translucent blue Enterprise base stand, which looks beautiful with the figure standing on it, but inexplicably has no pegs to secure him to it. Weird!

stearcher9

If you’re one of the minority like me that liked Enterprise, then you need this figure in your life. He represents the usual fine sculpting and craftsmanship that I’ve come to expect from Art Asylum and he looks damn fine on the shelf alongside his fellow Starfleet Officers. My only real gripe with this line was that we never did get the entire Bridge Crew in their jumpsuits, and that makes collecting these a little bittersweet. Oh yeah, this figure was also available in a larger bridge base set, which included the Captain’s Chair and a piece of the bridge which could connect to others. I do believe I have one of those kicking around here still in the box, but I haven’t unearthed it yet!

Advertisements

Star Trek Enterprise: Nausicaan Captain by Art Asylum

[Just a quick note, folks. Due to a scheduling snafu, today’s feature turned up briefly on Monday before I woke up saw it had posted, spit coffee all over my cat, and quickly took it down. If you happened by and read it before I took it down then I’m afraid there’s nothing new for you today. Although, I have since did some proof editing and added a couple new pictures, so you can consider this the Special Edition complete with blinking Ewoks and Greedo shooting first.]

As promised a week ago, I’m back with more Enterprise goodness recovered from the dark reaches of the Toy Crawlspace. This time we’re mixing it up by taking a look at one of the aliens in the line. I happened to find the Nausicaan Captain in one of those totes so I’m going to open him up and check him out. I seem to recall not caring a lot about this figure back when I was collecting these guys and I’m pretty sure I got him along with some others. Either way, I don’t seem to have been interested in him enough to bother opening him and he eventually found his way up into the dreaded Crawlspace.

stenaus1

The packaging is similar to what we saw with Malcolm Reed. It’s a massive bubble set on an equally beefy card.  You get a panel lined deco on the inserts to replicate the ship’s hull; only this time it’s colored brown instead of grey to distinguish it as part of this “Away Team” series. I was never big on them using that term in conjunction with Enterprise. It was adopted during The Next Generation and never used in Classic Trek so it feels rather out of place in a show that was supposed to pre-date both. I should point out, I also was never fond of the writers using aliens that were introduced in Next Gen. It always seemed to me like those should have been races we first encountered after expanding beyond the territorial confines of the Classic Trek era. I’m sure there have been ret-conned explanations, so whatever. Despite all my issues with the series, I still tend to enjoy Enterprise a lot. Let’s bust open the Nausicaan and see what he’s all about.

stenaus3

stenaus4

I gotta be honest, I do not remember the episode with the Nausicaans, so I’m not judging this figure based on its screen accuracy. That having been said he really is a spectacular design and sculpt. His outfit has a somewhat primitive vibe that looks like it would have been at home in the Classic series. The tunic is rubbery plastic and layered onto the figure’s buck and features a very nice sculpted, texture. This is precisely the kind of detail that makes me love AA’s work so much. The outfit isn’t flashy or even all that interesting, but the design is elevated by AA’s craftsmanship and attention to detail. In other words: This Nausicaan was made with love.

stenaus5

The Nausicaan design went through some changes over the years and I wasn’t a big fan of this race’s revised look. These guys were a lot scarier and more alien looking early on and later became more humanoid and more in line with the generic Trek “alien of the week” formula. Regardless, the head sculpt is still a superb piece of work. The ridges and creases in his face are all really sharp and well defined, as are the horns and tusks. You don’t tend to see a portrait sculpted this well in mass market figures these days, proving that the inmates at the Art Asylum certainly were pros. The only nitpick I have here is the gloss paint used on the hair. I think it should have been matte. Another nice touch are the bone ridges in his knuckles. You do not want to get punched by one of these guys.

stenaus6

stenaus2

While the sculpting represents AA’s usual peerless efforts, the Nausicaan Captain got cheated in a few other areas. The Enterprise line didn’t usually skimp on the accessories, but all this guy comes with is his Plasma Pistol. He also got shorted on articulation. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivels in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees, and there are swivels hidden under the soft rubber of his boots. He can also swivel at the waist and his neck is ball jointed. He’s certainly poseable, but the standard swivels in the biceps and thighs are conspicuously missing.

nauss1

Yeah, so I wasn’t really chomping at the bit to own a Nausicaan in this series. I don’t think they really belonged in Enterprise, I’m pretty sure they only appeared once, and I can’t even remember their episode off the top of my head. Nonetheless, as is often the case with Art Asylum’s work, this execution here overpowers the lacklustre subject matter. Sure the articulation could have been better, but this is still a great looking figure and a nice addition to my Enterprise shelf. Besides, there were only a handful of alien figures released in this line, so I guess beggers can’t be choosers. If you enjoy the Nausicaans feel free to check out the Playmates version of him, which I featured about a year ago HERE and holy crap, I seem to have been pretty ripped when I wrote that!

Star Trek Enterprise: Lt. Malcolm Reed and Ensign Travis Mayweather by Art Asylum

My Toy Crawlspace truly is the Final Frontier of my collection. It’s a pseudo attic above the garage that has some of my last unorganized totes. I’m going through a lot of those totes this month to cull some things for Ebay and make room up there for a bunch of statue boxes and whatnot. As a result, you’ll start seeing a lot of stuff from out of left field that I like to feature here on FFZ from time to time. Today’s tote brings us to Art Asylum’s amazing line of figures from the TV series Enterprise. A lot of people didn’t like this series, but as a fan of this show I have a fairly persuasive response to the Enterprise haters… F’ck off!

reedmal1

For the packaging, we’ll look to Reed because he was the figure I found in the tote, still carded, while Travis was already safely tucked away in one of my Star Trek figure drawers. The figures came in a huge bubble that take up the entire card with printed inserts to make it look like the interior of the ship…. or maybe the exterior of the ship… I’m not sure. I always thought it interesting that they chose to put “Star Trek” on the package while the producers of the TV series went out of their way to not include it in the branding of the show. I particularly enjoy the cutouts on the sides that give you a peek at some of the gear and accessories. It’s a great package that looks more like a window box than a card and bubble, and if you’re particularly deft with a razor, you might even be able to persuade it into being collector friendly. I, on the other hand, shredded mine like a dog trying to tear open a packet of pork rinds.

reedmal2

reedmal3

A while back when I was doing Star Trek Saturdays, I looked at Captain Archer and Chief Tucker in their EVA Suits, but this pair comes donning their regular Starfleet jumpsuits. Some figures were available both in the EVA Suits and their bridge attire, but sadly neither Malcolm nor Travis got the EVA treatment.  I guess someone had to stay on the ship while the rest of the crew went walkabout. As a matter of fact, the biggst failing of this line was that you could never get a complete set of the crew in either space suits or jumpsuits. Boo! In any event, AA did a beautiful job recreating the jumpsuits by making them out of a soft, rubbery plastic that covered a figure buck underneath. It’s an amazing little feat that takes what is a fairly boring and unattractive uniform and makes it something special. While the jointing on the limbs are still visible, the hip joints are completely concealed. I was more than a little surprised that after being stored in a crawlspace for four or five years, the rubber jumpsuits didn’t degrade at all. What’s also cool is that the two figures do not share the same buck or uniform sculpt. In a world where companies like Mattel are happy to save a couple bucks (get it?) by reusing the same body over and over, it’s kind of refreshing to see some of the little guys get it right. There are subtle differences in the jumpsuits and Travis is appropriately just a smidge taller than Malcolm. The piping on the shoulders are colored differently for each of their departments and they each have the correct number of rank pips.

reedmal4

reedmal5

The portraits on both figures are excellent. The head sculpts really convey the likenesses of Dominic Keating and Anthony Montgomery, but that comes as no surprise because this is Art Asylum and they rarely ever skimped on the likenesses. What’s more the skin tones and paint work are also beautifully done. Malcolm looks like he’s trying to decide whether or not to shoot something in the face and Travis has that look of innocent wonder appropriate for a character that was probably there for the audience to best relate to… or maybe that was Hoshi. Either way, these are great looking portraits.

reedmal13

As for articulation, these guys make out pretty well. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, swivel at the biceps and wrists, and hinged at the elbows. The legs have universal movement, which feels like something similar to Mattel’s DCUC hips, there are swivels in the thighs, hinged knees, and ball joints in the ankles. They can both swivel at the waist and have very serviceable ball joints in the neck. Not bad!

reedmal10

reedmal14

reedmal15

These figures also come loaded with extra bits. They each come with a phase pistol, a communicator, a tricorder, and an extra pair of hands. The gear is all Ok. My one gripe with Art Asylum/Diamond Select’s Trek figures is that sometimes the gear feels undersized. In this case the phase pistols seem about right, but I think the tricorder and communicators could have used a little upsizing. It’s also really tough to get them to hold the smaller things. In the case of the communicator, I almost think it might have been more useful to sculpt an extra hand already holding it.

reedmal17

reedmal7

reedmal8

reedmal9

Malcolm also comes with a very cool Starfleet weapon case and an extra phase pistol. The case is patterned after the one used in the premier episode, “Broken Bow” to introduce these weapons and just like in the episode both phase pistols can be stowed in the cutouts inside the case. It’s hinged on one side and has a folding carry handle. I really applaud AA for including this piece as it’s more the type of accessory I expect to get with 1:6 scale figures.

reedmal6

On the less useful side of things, you also get a plastic Enterprise coin and a translucent blue figure stand with the Enterprise patch logo. The stand is beautifully done and the figure looks great standing on it, too bad it doesn’t have a peg to hold the figures. D’oh! I’m still not sure the purpose of the coins. I guess it was just a little something extra. I tried plugging a couple of them into the snack machine at work to get a Snickers bar. To make a long story short, the snack machine doesn’t work any more.

reedmal11

reedmal12

reedmal16

It’s worth pointing out here that the same Malcolm Reed figure was also available with his Tactical Station on the bridge. The idea was to collect all the Bridge sets and piece together the entire thing. Alas, the line was shit-canned before it could happen and I don’t recall Travis’ Helm Station ever being produced. Either way, I freaking love this line of figures and it made me very sad to see them linger for so long on the pegs at Toys R Us even at clearance prices. With the exception of Playmates’ lightning in a bottle success in the 90’s, Star Trek figures have never seem to fare well at retail and when you couple that with the general unpopularity of Enterprise, these figures were probably doomed to fail from the start. It is a shame because it’s so obvious that the guys at Art Asylum poured the love into them. They just went above and beyond with the sculpts and equipment. On a brighter note, there were quite a few more of these lingering up there in the Toy Crawlspace waiting to be opened and featured, so at least they’ll continue to live on here at FFZ.

Femme Fatales: Steampunk Lexi by Diamond Select

Yesterday I made the long trek to my “neighborhood” comic shop. It’s about a forty-five minute drive, so I usually make an afternoon out of it by taking a few years off my life and getting a burger and sack of fries at Five Guys before heading into the “shop-o-nerd-bliss” to see what kind of trouble I could get into. Besides picking up a Deadpool hardcover and the third TPB of Brubaker’s Winter Soldier, I also came home with this little honey. I don’t collect Diamond’s Femme Fatales line, but poor Lexi has been languishing there for a long while and discounted deeply enough that I was persuaded to put her on my shelf.

lexi1

lexi2

The package is what I’ve come to expect from PVC statues. It’s nothing special, just a window box that shows you the goods. There’s a photo of the statue on the back along with a blurb about Lexi and what inspired her creation. It’s also pretty badly shelf-worn, which is probably why they were clearancing her out. Inside the statue is cradled between two clear plastic trays. There’s no tape or anything, so she’s easy to get out and the package is totally collector friendly. Out of the package, Lexi stands about nine inches tall, putting her roughly in scale with a lot of other PVC statues on the market. She was designed by Art Asylum and sculpted by Sam Greenwell,

lexi3

lexi4

lexi5

Straightaway, I really like the styling on this piece. As much as it’s advertised as steampunk, the sculpt reminds me a lot of a retro 40’s or 50’s style. I think I’m getting most of that from the portrait and the fact that Lexi is slightly chunkier than a lot of the anorexic female statues we see. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but that’s what I come away with. She’s also pretty conservatively dressed compared to a lot of the half-naked chick statues on the market (and on my shelf). If you’ve seen any of DC Collectibles new Bombshells of the DC Universe, it gives me that same kind of vibe. The pose is excellent. Lexi is standing with one leg back and one hip thrown seductively to the side. She’s holding up a weapon in her right hand, which is cocked at the elbow and she has a smaller gun concealed behind her back. She’s looking off to the side with a sly expression and smiling knowingly.

lexi6

lexi7

lexi8

The outfit is cool and looks like something you might see on a cosplayer at a convention, and we’ll come back to the cosplay concept in a tick. She’s got high-heeled boots, thigh-high stockings, a skirt and corset, and a leather half jacket. Of course, she’s also wearing goggles up on the top of her head, because you can’t be steampunk without goggles! The detail in the outfit is quite good, although the skirt is a tad thick. The texturing and paintwork both add a nice level of credibility to the sculpt. Indeed, the paintwork on my piece is just about flawless, right down to all the tiny little silver buttons and the laces on her boots. I really dig the base, which is comprised of three giant, weathered looking gears.

lexi9

The weapons are cool, so long as you can get past the fact that her primary sidearm looks uncannily similar to a repainted nerf gun. Seriously, it’s the N-Strike Maverick! I like the design, but it seems like they could have come up with something more original. On the other hand, it brings us back to the whole cosplay vibe, which I think gives this piece a lot of unique charm. I do find the lack of a holster rather conspicuous. Where you going to put that thing when you’re trying to eat a hot dog at the concessions stand, hon?

lexi10

lexi11

In the end, I’m glad I took Lexi home with me, but it has to be considered that at $25 she was pretty far from the original retail, which I understand was closer to forty bucks. I’m not saying that she isn’t worth that from a quality standpoint. She’s certainly an exceptionally nice looking statue and doesn’t have a lot to apologize for. I keep coming back to the 40’s vibe this piece throws off and I find myself liking it even more. On the other hand, I don’t think I would have paid out that much for a non-licensed statue. I will say that now that I have some experience with this line, I am tempted to hunt down the Dawn or Darkchylde statues.

Star Trek: Captain Kirk and Khan by Diamond Select

Ever since the first reveal, I have been rather perplexed by Diamond’s new Star Trek… Figures? Statues? Collectibles? I don’t know what to call these things. They’re episode-specific dioramas that are exactly the same scale as the line of Classic Trek figures that they were putting out just a couple years back. It was a line that was subsequently shit-canned because they weren’t selling well enough. And granted, that’s a notion that is well illustrated with any stroll down the clearance section of that collectible action figure aisle at Toys R Us. Maybe Diamond is banking on more interest with a new Trek movie in theaters, but if that’s the case why not just bring out the actual figures again? Well, I’ll revisit that question more in a bit. For now, let’s look at the item in question. The initial assortment consisted of Spock and a Horta from “Devil in the Dark” but today we’re checking out Kirk and Khan from “Space Seed.”

stkak1

The package for this thing is enormous, at least it is for a card and bubble meant to hang on a peg. The bubble is massive and shows off both the Kirk and Khan figures along with the parts to the backdrop. Also visible in the bubble is Kirk’s extra set of legs and a pair of swappable hands. It’s a weird presentation that does a good job showing you all the pieces, but creates a crazy scene of disembodied human parts. The bubble is reinforced on one side with cardboard that features a nice side illustration of Kirk and a corner of the bubble has the Classic Enterprise. The idea here is to recreate the epic fight between Kirk and Khan in Engineering and give you a few different display options…

stkak2

No, you’re not looking at some tragic transporter accident. That’s all the pieces you get to customize Kirk in the display. There are two different sets of static legs, one set of hands clutching the conveniently club-shaped Engineering component, and a set of open palm hands. The Kirk torso is articulated with a rotating head, ball joints in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. This begs the question… WHY NOT JUST GIVE US A FULLY ARTICULATED FIGURE? Can it really be more cost effective to include a second set of legs, when Diamond could have just repacked the Kirk figure they’ve already produced with this new head? We’re just talking about a T-crotch, knee hinges, and thigh swivels. The scale is identical… Diamond, you probably still have the figures sitting in your warehouse somewhere. I just don’t understand what they were going for here! PLEASE… SOMEONE MAKE ME UNDERSTAND!!! IT’S HALF A FIGURE ALREADY… JUST CUT OUT ONE EXTRA SET OF LEGS AND GIVE US THE OTHER HALF!!!

stkak3

Unlike Kirk, Khan is a completely static piece designed to peg into the console and be abused by Kirk. Khan has been released before by Diamond in this scale, but not in the red jumpsuit, so at least the new non-articulated sculpt here makes sense from a cost perspective. I’m very pleased with the sculpt, particularly the likeness. But in the end, this Khan is still just window dressing.

stkak4

stkak5

The Engineering section consists of a fairly large plastic base that plugs into the upright console. The wall behind the console is cardboard with two printed sides to give you two display options. The original piece was supposed to be plastic, but Diamond said it didn’t cost out in the end. I’m fine with it. It looks good and since a lot of the Classic Trek sets looked like cardboard anyway, it’s strangely appropriate. The only downside is durability and storage. I do love the console, and I’ll confess it’s the main reason I purchased this set first over the Horta one, because I thought it would be cool to have this backdrop for my proper Classic Trek figures. And indeed, Scotty looks awesome standing against it.

stkak6

stkak8

stkak9

Putting it all together, you do have several options to tweak the display, but the ensemble is designed for two specific configurations. The first has Kirk standing on the deck and pummeling Khan with the engineering rod. This is my least favorite of the options, because Kirk seems awkwardly bent and unless you tweak it just right it looks like he’s attacking Khan’s crotch with it. Kirk was a dirty fighter, but I don’t remember him beating on Khan’s balls with an implement. You can also use the open palm hands to make it look like Kirk is just slamming Khan into the console. Either of these poses make me wish Kirk’s head was ball jointed so he can look up at what he’s doing. But hey, since the hands with the rod are interchangeable with the hands on my proper Kirk figure, I can just use that figure in the display to much better effect. So again, I ask… Diamond, why didn’t you just pack the old Kirk figure in with this thing?

stkak10

stkak11

The other display option has Kirk doing a jumping kick into Khan. This configuration makes use of a clear plastic rod that pegs into the console and into one of Kirk’s sets of legs. The rod holds the figure in place extremely well and the illusion of mid-air-kick Kirk is really well done. I definitely prefer this display option as it looks a little more natural and you can tweak Kirk’s hands in a number of ways. Hell, you can even have him kicking Khan with the engineering rod raised over his hands for QUAD DAMAGE! Admittedly, “Flying Kick Kirk” makes better use of the unique Kirk that comes with the set, but I submit that Diamond could have just as easily bored a hole for the clear rod into a proper Kirk figure’s legs and still made it work.

stkak15

stkak14

stkak13

stkak12

If it sounds like I’m picking on this set, it’s just because I generally don’t understand it. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it. It’s an awesome display piece and it does a great job combining a bit of customization and playability of action figures with a statue-style environment. If we didn’t already have proper Classic Trek figures in this scale, I’d be even happier with this set, but as it is, it seems like such an odd thing to do. The photos above illustrate how well it works with the Classic Trek figures that Diamond already have made. At around $22, you certainly get a lot of stuff for your money, so it’s not a question of value, it’s just my own morbid curiosity as to how a set like this can be expected to sell better than a new round of proper action figures.

Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan: Khan Noonien Singh by Art Asylum

And we’re back with Day Two of Trek Week! The key to crafting any great screen rivalry is to create a villain worthy of the hero. In the case of Kirk, that wasn’t an easy task. But, thanks to a performance crafted by master thespian and scenery chewer, Ricardo Montalban, Khan not only held his own against Kirk on the big screen, but has become one of the quintessential villains in modern cinema. He’s so friggin formidable they made a whole movie just about his goddamn wrath. But we’re not here to talk about the movie, we’re here to talk about toys, so let’s take a look at Art Asylum’s take on Mr. Khan Noonian Singh.

kns9

It’s the exact same packaging that we saw yesterday with Admiral Kirk. The only difference is the bottom insert in the card is personalized with Khan’s name. Again, the presentation here is fantastic. I love the Starfleet insignia shaped bubble and the card art really takes me back to the 80’s movie poster stylings.

kns10

Yep, the back of the card is the same too! Lots of figures and many are now very expensive. One of these days I will have a full crew. I vow it… I will have the full crew!

wok1-vert

Anyway… moving on to the figure…

kns3

kns4

Khan’s portrait fares much better than Kirk’s. The head sculpt is a pretty solid representation of Montalban from the film, right down to his outrageous 80’s David Bowie hair. It must have been a challenge to sculpt hair like that, but I think the guys at AA did a solid effort. I also appreciate that the long hair doesn’t impede Khan’s neck articulation.

kns5

The rest of the figure is ok, but I think it stumbles in a few areas and mostly the paintwork is at fault. His ragged Ceti Alpha 5 outfit is reproduced with nice detail. He has all sorts of patchwork bits on his tunic and the Starfleet pendant he wore around his neck is sculpted into the chest. He has his one gloved hand, because it was the 80’s and cool people wore only one glove. I also dig his wrist communicator with the sculpted wire running up his arm. His boots have sculpted fur lining and are surprisingly detailed, considering I don’t remember ever getting a good look at them in the film.

The paintwork, on the other hand, makes use of too much gloss, particularly on his tunic and his bare chest. It’s just not right and it’s at odds with the matte dirty finish on the bare arms and the matte paint on the face. It also makes him look more toyish than the Starfleet figures in the line, which make an effort to distinguish matte from gloss.

kns1

kns2

Khan features the same articulation as Admiral Kirk. You get a ball joint in the neck. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, hinged at the elbows, and have swivels in the wrists and elbows. The hips feature a t-crotch, and the legs have hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. Again, there’s no articulation in the torso at all.

kns8

Accessories! Khan comes with one extra opened glove hand to swap out his fist. You also get his Ceti Alpha eel, a bowl of baby eels, and a pair of forceps. The eel and bowl are about what you would expect. They’re ok for what they are. The forceps should have been sculpted into an extra left hand, because it’s really tough to get him to hold them in any convincing manner. Still, apart from bundling him with a Genesis torpedo, I can’t think of anything else they could have given him.

kns6

kns7

If it sounds like I’m picking on Khan, I don’t mean to. He’s actually a pretty cool figure. Khan has got a great head sculpt and an ok body, which makes him the opposite of the Kirk figure. And, hey, if you have any kind of customizing skills and some matte paint, you can probably fix most of the paint issues with this figure by getting rid of the inappropriate gloss. I picked up my Khan figure at a Toy Show from the same dealer I got Kirk and he was also $20. Not bad. If you aren’t willing to spend deeply on a bunch of WoK figures, but want some representations of the movie on your shelf, Khan and Kirk are a great way to go.

Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan: Admiral Kirk by Art Asylum

Folks, I’ve got Star Trek on the brain this week. What with the new movie opening this past weekend, I wanted to balance it out with some Classic Trek cinema, so I busted out my Wrath of Khan Blu-Ray and now I’m all ready to talk some Trek toys. So, what the hell, let’s call the rest of this week Star Trek Week! To kick things off, we’re going to Art Asylum and their line of figures based on the second and greatest Trek movie of all time. And who better to go with than the hero and the villain of the piece. I’ve had this pair for a little while now, and I decided the time was right to open them up and get them on display. Today we’re going to check out Admiral Kirk and tomorrow we’ll swing back with a looksee at his nemesis, Khaaaaaaaaaaaaan.

admk1

I really dig the packaging here. Kirk comes on a huge card with a bubble shaped like the familiar Starfleet insignia. To the left of the bubble is an illustration of The Enterprise and to the upper right corner is a nice piece of art depicting Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Khan. The artwork almost has a vintage feel to it, which really fits the flick incredibly well. It just reminds me of early 80’s movie poster art. The bubble has an insert with the 25th Anniversary (holy shit, I’m so old!) Wrath of Khan logo and another insert with Kirk’s name on it.

admk9

The flipside of the card shows stills of the characters that are available in Series I and II. It also taunts you with the fact that four members of the bridge crew are SDCC Exclusives and so if you want them you’re screwed. Actually, you can still nab some of these figures for around $30 on Ebay from time to time, but others have crept closer to that three-digit mark. Suffice it to say if you’re looking for a full set, you better be ready to dig deep. Ok, let’s bust out Kirk and check him out…

admk2

Hot damn, I adore the Classic Trek movie uniforms: The burgundy tunic with that front flap, the shoulder strap with the rank insignia medal, the gold plated Starfleet insignia on the breast and matching belt buckle. These uniforms were clearly the pinnacle of Starfleet fashion design and I remember being so disappointed when The Next Generation premiered and dragged Starfleet kicking and screaming back to jumpsuits… although, I eventually succumbed to their old school charm. Anyway, this figure does the uniform justice in every way. The black piping is sculpted into the tunic, as is the seam running down the center of the chest. The insignia are painted onto the arm band and the sculpted Starfleet insignia on the left of the chest and on the belt buckle are both things of beauty. Overall, the paintwork is solid, and I like how they used matte black for the pants and high gloss for the boots.

admk3

You may recall a while back I looked at “Regula-1” Kirk from the same series and I was less than impressed with the head sculpt. Well, regular Kirk here uses the same head sculpt. It isn’t terrible, but there’s something definitely off about it. I think it looks like much older Shatner. His eyes seemed to get squintier the older he got, and that’s what I’m seeing here.

admk10

Kirk features decent enough articulation. You get a ball joint in the neck. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, hinged at the elbows, and swivel at the biceps and wrists. His hips feature a standard t-crotch, his knees and ankles are hinged, and he has swivels in the lower thighs. I’m glad they didn’t go for any torso articulation, as it would have messed up the look of the tunic. Speaking of the tunic, because the lower part of it is made of rubbery plastic, Kirk can actually sit down. I am, however, somewhat hesitant to leave him in a sitting position, since it will likely crease the plastic. It’s not like there’s a proper movie captain’s chair for him to sit in anyway. Although, the Defiant chair that came with Playmate’s 5” Sisko will work in a pinch.

admk6

admk8

Kirk comes with an extra pair of hands and the basic Starfleet gear: A phaser and a communicator. The hands are nice, but I didn’t find them really necessary. I use the ones designed to hold his equipment and don’t bother with the others. Both pieces of gear are nice tiny representations of the props in the film. I’m pretty fond of this model phaser, and this one appears to be a repaint of the accessory used for the Admiral Kirk figure from The Motion Picture. The communicators in Wrath of Khan, on the other hand, were shit. In fact, they were probably the only bad thing about that entire movie. Seriously, how did Starfleet go from using wrist communicators in TMP to these ugly behemoths? They look like some kind of scratch built transistor radios.

admk7

admk5

And that’s Admiral James T Kirk. He’s a really nice figure. The portrait of the head sculpt could have been better, but it’s not a deal breaker. He’s also one of the WoK figures that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. I got mine at a Toy Show for $20, which is about right. And, if one Kirk isn’t enough for you, you can also track down Kirk with the bloody handprint on his tunic, put there by Scotty’s dying nephew. Hey, Scotty, the dude is dying… WTF did you bring him up to the bridge for? Take that shit to Sickbay and maybe he’d have a chance to live. Oh yeah, there’s also another variant with Kirk doing the Khan scream. Happy hunting! Tomorrow, I’ll be back with the most Noonien of Singhs… Khan himself.

Star Trek Starship Legends: USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (“Wrath of Khan”) by Diamond Select

Science fiction has given us countless space faring vessels over the decades. Many have been one shot wonders, while select few have come to be considered iconic. But for my money there has never been a space ship more iconic, more graceful, or more beautifully designed than the Constitution Class Refit Enterprise. The ship made its debut in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but it wasn’t until Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that we really got to see the ship in all its glory, both trekking through the stars and slugging it out ship-to-ship in a bitter fight to the death. If I were to use one word to describe this incarnation of the Enterprise, that word would be “noble.” I can’t say exactly why, but she has a glorious nobility to her that has always embodied the values of Star Trek to me. And now, I finally have the Starship Legends version of this ship in my collection. Yep… too bad it’s a piece of garbage. Now would be a good time to remind you of my colorful language disclaimer. Ok, let’s do this… Set phasers to maximum disappointment. 

DSCN0467

We’ve recently seen the Starship Legends packaging for the Enterprise-D and the Bird of Prey, so this Enterprises’ box should look pretty familiar, although it is a lot more compact and while the other ships came completely assembled, the WoK Enterprise requires you to attach the warp nacelles. This worried me at first, as I like the option of storing the ship in the box. Fortunately, the nacelles can be easily removed again for storage. You get that same blue starfield deco, which looks ok, but doesn’t really convey the Star Trek franchise to me and the combination of the Classic Series font and the image of Kirk in his Classic Series uniform just feels out of place for a ship based on the feature films. The box is fairly collector friendly, although the two pieces of the stand are sealed under plastic, so you will have to tear them up to get those pieces out. Still, you can do it with minimal damage and return everything to the box, which is a good thing, because this is a toy that I’m not anxious to display.

dstwok1

dstwok4

dstwok3

Let’s start with the few good things I have to say about this Enterprise: First, let’s talk about the sculpt. The sculpted detail on this piece is bewilderingly awesome. From the tiny panel lines to the faint Aztec pattern, Diamond obviously did their research and meticulously etched it all into the hull of this toy. Second, let’s talk about the hull’s finish. I wasn’t too sure how much I’d like the pearlescent finish on the plastic, but in person, it really brings out all that detail in the sculpt. If you manipulate the ship in your hands and shift the light around its surface, it really brings out all of those amazing and intricate little patterns. Lastly, there’s the lettering. The lettering on the ship all looks crisp and clear. From the large and obvious printing on the top of the saucer section to the minuscule “United Federation of Planets” on the sides of the saucer and the sides of the primary hull. The lettering is excellent. That’s it, folks… the rest is all downhill from here.

dstwok2

The quality of the plastic on this piece is downright terrible. It feels flimsy and cheap like a ten dollar model kit. There’s a huge gulf separating the quality of this plastic and the stuff used for Diamond’s most recent Bird of Prey. If you silhouette this ship against a light, you can practically see right through it. Seriously, I can see my fingers right through the saucer section! That’s bad enough, but when you activate the lights, they bleed through the flimsy plastic hull and make for a terrible effect. But we’ll get to the electronics in a bit. I’m not done harping on the shitty plastic yet. The top rear of one of the nacelles looks like it was repaired with some kind of gloppy glue and it looks like crap. That right there is a complete absence of quality control. If I purchased this second hand on Ebay, I would accused the seller of shenanigans. Seriously, Diamond? You’ve got to be kidding me with this shit.

dstwok13

dstwok11

The paintwork on the ship is also pretty bad. There’s bleeding and slop all over the place and the deflector dish is painted black. Yes, black. Holy fucking shit on a tribble, why in the name of all the holy mother-fucking Gamesters of Triskelion would you paint the goddamn deflector dish black? Looking at it, it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t a decision that was made to deliberately ruin the whole thing, especially since this the toy is designed to light up.

dstwok10

dstwok8

Which brings me to the electronics. I could take this opportunity to bitch that there’s no option to display the ship with just the lights on, like there was with the Enterprise-D or the Bird of Prey. But that’s ok, because the light effects are so terrible, I wouldn’t want to. They basically just come on in sequence with the sound effects. Diamond made no effort to simulate actual running lights or any of the Enterprise’s on screen lighting effects whatsoever. The back of the bridge lights up, the impulse engine lights up, the area around that shitty black painted deflector dish lights up, and the interior of the warp nacelles light up. Virtually all of the lights that you see are actually just bleeding through the cheap plastic. The ship doesn’t look that great as it is, but it looks worse with the lighting effects illuminated. That’s quite an achievement.

dstwok16

dstwok11

dstwok14

The sound is a mix of sound effects and voice clips from the movie. I suppose I could bitch about the fact that most of the quotes are taken from instances that don’t actually take place on the Enterprise, but this thing is such a mess, I’m going to give it a pass. Here’s the rundown on the audio…

  • Kirk: “Fire!” [ship phaser effects]
  • Khan: “From hell’s heart, I stab at thee!”
  • SFX: Warp
  • Kirk: “I don’t like to lose.”
  • SFX: Alert Claxon
  • Khan: “Let them eat static.”
  • SFX: Impulse
  • Khan: “Fire!” [ship phasers effects]
  • SFX: Hand phaser(!) … What. The. Fuck?
  • Khan: “Times up, Admiral.”
  • Kirk: “Lock phasers on target and await my command.”
  • SFX: Ship Phasers
  • Khan: “Time is a luxury you don’t have.”
  • SFX: Explosion
  • Kirk: “Kirk to Spock.”
  • SFX: Transporter Effect
  • Kirk: “I don’t believe in a no win scenario.”
  • Kirk: Khan scream! 

Wrath of Khan is a highly quotable film, so there’s some good material here, and I’m also a huge fan of the film’s sound effects. The transporters and the phasers sound particularly good.

dstwok12

I took a lot of issue with the stands included with The Enterprise-D. Well, the stand that comes with this ship is in some ways better and in some ways worse. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the stand itself is unbelievably cheap. The other stands featured two sides coming up from the Starfleet insignia base, making up a triangular cross-section, whereas this one only has one, making it seem like a totally deliberate way to shave a couple pennies of cost out of this thing. When I first took it out of the box I  literally thought I was missing a piece. I mean it really is insulting and shameful to have a stand this shitty for a $60 collectible. On the plus side, the ball joint will actually hold the ship upright, which I attribute mostly to this Enterprise weighing a lot less than the Enterprise-D. There is an extra battery cover, which can be swapped out so the bottom of the ship doesn’t have the hole in it for the stand. It seems like a nice bonus, but than I realize the hole for the stand is the least part of this ship’s problems.

dstwok9

I have had nothing but good experiences with Diamond Select and Art Asylum in the past, which is probably why I’m so incredibly surprised and irritated over what a terrible ship this is. It’s so far beneath the other releases in the Starship Legends line, that it feels like it’s some kind of terrible and cruel joke. It just fails on so many levels that it’s almost inconceivable that Diamond would have the nerve to pack it into a box and sell it for $60. SIXTY DOLLARS!!!! Even at a third of the price, I couldn’t have been happy with this thing. I just look at it and think, what a waste of money! Even the novelty packaging Enterprise model that holds my 2009 Star Trek Blu-Ray is better quality collectible than this unfortunate piece of garbage.

dstwok7

Computer, initiate destruct sequence… I’m going to get some Romulan Ale and drink to forget.

This Feature was Re-Shot on 4/23/15

Star Trek Starship Legends: USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D by Diamond Select

As I mentioned last Saturday, the fine folks at Diamond Select have taken pity on those of us who missed out on their Starship Legends line by reissuing the ships with some minor tweaks and refreshed packaging. I was quick to jump on board and pre-order the “Wrath of Khan” Enterprise and the “Next Gen” Enterprise-D. I’ve got a little while to wait on WoK Enterprise, but 1701-D showed up at my door this week in a giant slab of a shipping box. I’ve been jonesing after this thing for a long while now, so I couldn’t wait to get her inside and open her up. This is a big ship, there’s a lot to talk about, and there will be some bumps along the way, so sit tight and engage your inertial dampeners…

The huge window box is actually not quite as big as the Bird of Prey’s package, but it is deeper. It’s the same style of blue cloudy star field deco only this time you get a shot of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, with arms crossed, staring out approvingly at you, as if to say, “Well done on buying this ship.” That makes me happy. After all, deep down don’t we all really just want approval from Captain Picard? The Star Trek logo is in “The Original Series” font with “The Next Generation” below it. Wait… they can’t do that… can they? I’ll confess the mixing of the two generations looks weird, like it’s a knock off package or something. The front panel of the box is cut out to show the bulk of the ship, while still hiding the two pieces of shit stands in the lower right corner. There’s a “Try Me” hole in the window so little bastards can run down the batteries when they see it at their local comic shop. The back panel of the box shows a shot of the model with a couple of paragraphs on the series and the ship. It also seems to take great pleasure in chronicling the fact that the mightiest ship in the Starfleet, the Flagship, was destroyed by a small rogue Bird of Prey after Picard gave Riker the keys and Troi crashed it into a planet. Cue Picard Facepalm.

The ship is packaged fully assembled. You just have to clip the wire ties to get it off the tray, and that’s where the fun starts. I honestly didn’t expect to have anything bad to say about this thing, and yet we’re going to start off with one major annoyance. As expected, the ship comes packaged in “Try Me” mode and to get the full effect of the electronics you need to switch it over to “Play Mode.” Unfortunately, the switch is inside the battery compartment on the bottom of the Star Drive section. Some may argue that’s a good thing because the ship doesn’t have a switch exposed on it anywhere, but it didn’t bother me so much with the Bird of Prey. Anyway, this situation sent me scrambling throughout the house to find one of my tiny screwdrivers, which by now I should keep in a very prominent place, but I can never remember where I left it. After about ten minutes of swearing under my breath and rummaging through every junk drawer and catch-all I have in the house, I got my hands on it only to find that I couldn’t budge the screw. Diamond obviously used some kind of self-sealing stembolt (Right? Get it?) to secure the hatch down. I went back to searching until I turned up a pair of vice grips so I could get enough torque and break the seal on the screw. After that it was easy. I also noticed the super shit batteries they put in here, so I’m going to have to go get a couple of packs of the best AAA batteries I can find for the Enterprise and Bird of Prey so they don’t shit battery goo all over the inside of my precious ships. But wait! We’re not done yet! You also need to take off a second battery cover on the top of the Saucer Section right over the main Shuttle Bay and flip a switch under it in order to get the Saucer Separation SFX to work. Yes, the Enterprise is also powered by three additional button batteries in the Saucer. This cover is slid back by inserting a thin implement into a notch and pushing back. It’s a jarring ordeal because I had to apply just a bit more force than I was comfortable with. Keep in mind, as annoying as this all was, it’s just something to deal with during the initial unboxing and not something that’s going to really spoil the enjoyment of the model once you’ve done it. Ok, now that I’ve put everybody to sleep with exciting battery talk, let’s look at the ship.

I was expecting a lot of detail, but I’ll confess the finished sculpt still exceeds my expectations. The Enterprise-D has a lot of surface space, and every bit of it is covered with panel lines. I mean, damn, you can practically see every single plate of tritanium-duranium alloy that went into the hull’s construction. The Escape Pod hatches are sculpted, the ridges on the Shuttle Bay doors, even the little docking hatches on the sides of the Torpedo Bay launchers. If Art Asylum left any details out, I sure as hell can’t find them. There is a little more assembly seaming on this ship than was evident on the Bird of Prey. It’s mostly noticeable along the aft edges of the ship and where the back of the neck meets the front two pieces. They aren’t terrible, but worth mentioning.

The paintwork compliments the sculpted detail wonderfully. Every window is painted onto the ship’s skin from the random windows of crew quarters to the line of panels that runs across the wall of the Conference Room and even the viewports of Ten Forward. The Escape Pod hatches are painted tan and you’ve got a darker grey on the Shuttle Bay doors and the Phaser Array strips. The lettering is all crisp and hugs the hull better than what I remember seeing in the test shots. Of all the tiny details, I think the one that impresses me the most are the tiny scoring lines that run along the perimeter of all the Phaser Arrays. Holy shit that’s cool!

The Saucer Section is secured to the Star Drive Section with some of the most insanely powerful magnets I think I’ve ever seen in a toy. Separating the ship is as easy as pulling them apart. When you go to connect them up again, the magnets will aggressively grab at each other and do the rest. Connecting and reconnecting the two sections give you a sound and light show, which we’ll talk about in a little bit. Obviously reconnecting the two halves of the ship will lead to rubbing on the surface so I’ll probably avoid doing it to excess. I’ll point out here that Diamond stamped a bunch of large type copyright information inside the area where the Saucer Section connects to the neck. It’s annoying and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there on the original release.

The Enterprise comes with two display stands and they are the biggest pieces of shit I’ve ever seen. They’re basically the same style of thin, opaque plastic pieces as the one that came with the Bird of Prey, only these feature the ball joint under the connection points and are sculpted with the Starfleet “Comm Badge” style insignia. They look cheap, but that’s not the problem I have with them. While the Bird of Prey used a fixed connection that works perfectly, these stands use ball joints and they work well until you manipulate them a couple of times and then they fail miserably. The ball joint just can’t handle the weird weight displacement of the ship and it constantly wants to drop the ship forward onto the Saucer Section. They will work fine if you want to pose the ship in an upward climb, but forget about getting it displayed parallel to the surface its standing on. You see those two side shots of the ship? Well, the stands won’t do that anymore. Hey guys, what the hell is the point of a poseable ball joint if it can only hold the ship in one position???  I’ve tried gumming it up with blue tack, which didn’t work.  I may try some nail polish next.

So two stands? Yes, The complete Enterprise displays on either stand by plugging it into the hole closest to the Deflector Dish. You can also display the Enterprise separated by plugging the smaller stand into the middle hole of the Star Drive section and using the larger stand for the Saucer Section. While I doubt I’ll ever display the ship separated, it’s very cool to have this option. The instructions show a plug that can be put into the hole of the Saucer Section to cover it up when you are displaying the ship as one piece. It’s a great idea, but sadly no such plug was included in my box.

Ok, let’s talk electronics and we’ll start with the lights. By pressing and holding the concealed button just below the main Impulse Engine on the Star Drive section, you can put all the lights into “Display Mode” and they’ll stay lit until you press it again. You get red LEDs in all three Impulse Engines and the front of both Warp Nacelles. Blue LEDs light up in the front Deflector Dish and in the strips around the Warp Nacelles. The lights are all bright and gorgeous, particularly the fronts of the Nacelles. There’s one more light, a white Bridge light on the top of the Saucer Sections dome. Alas, this one bleeds through the paint and plastic around it quite a bit. I can sort of convince myself that the light bleeding through is just the light reflecting off the hull. Yeah… sort of.

The sound effects and voice clips aren’t quite as loud and clear as the Bird of Prey’s SFX, but they’re still pretty good. The sounds and voice are activated by pressing the top dome of the Saucer Section and the lights will come on when the sound is activated. One thing I do not like at all is the way the blue Nacelle lights blink to match the speech or sound effect. It’s just like the lights on the top of a Dalek when it talks. What is the point of this, Diamond? WHY? At least all the lights don’t do it. The sounds and voice clips play in the same order and if you hold the button down it’ll run through everything in one long sequence. All of the voice clips are from Captain Picard himself. Here’s what you get…

  • “Open a hailing frequency. This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard.”
  • “Energize.” [Transporter SFX]
  • “Scan for life forms.”
  • “Shields up! Red Alert!” [Red Alert SFX]
  • [Phaser Alarm. Phasers Firing.]
  • “Make it so.”
  • [Warp Drive Engaging]
  • “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” [Replicator SFX]
  • “Dispersal pattern Sierra and fire!” [Torpedoes SFX]
  •  “Transferring command to the battle bridge.”
  • [Impulse Flyby]
  • “Continual fire, all phasers!” [Phaser Alarm. Phasers Firing]
  •  “Damage report!”
  • “Warp 9, Engage!” [Warp SFX]
  • “Let’s make sure history never forgets the name… Enterprise!”

I could have done without the Earl Grey quote, but I adore the way the sequence ends with Picard’s memorable battle cry from “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” The weapon sequences are so awesome that I really wish there was a way to select them specifically to avoid the following scenario: “Hey, wanna hear the Enterprise-D kick some ass?” “Sure!” “Ok, here we go.” [pushes button] “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot!” “Oh…”

Separating the Saucer section plays, “Prepare for emergency saucer sep” and engages the lights and sounds. Reconnecting plays the sound of the moorings locking down. Very cool!

If it sounds like I’m nitpicking the Enterprise more than I did the Bird of Prey, well that’s because I probably am. The Bird of Prey didn’t have as many issues. Besides, this is the goddamn Enterprise after all and I’m going to hold it to higher standards. My issues with some of the electronic SFX are fairly minor and in one case (the lights flashing in time to the voice) just a matter of personal preference. The stands, however, are just poorly executed and considering this is the second time this ship has been released, they should have been fixed. I’d much rather have a stand that gave me less display options but actually worked well. I would even have been willing to pay a little extra for a ratcheting stand. In terms of the ship itself, however, well it’s absolutely gorgeous. I love it so much that even with all the other hiccups, I’m still so very glad that I finally own it. When you consider what the old Playmates Enterprise-D goes for these days, picking up this Diamond version is a no-brainer. At $70 shipped, it’s just worth every penny, horrible stands and all! Now if only I can find a place to display it so I don’t have to put it back in the box.

And that’s going to wrap me up for this week. Tomorrow is my day of rest and I’ll actually be continuing to clean out and organize one of my bottomless toy closets. Next week is going to be a complete run of some of the stuff I find so it should be an interesting mish-mash of who knows what!

Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan: “Regula-1” Kirk by Art Asylum

I realize that I’m not being terribly original when I say that Wrath of Khan is my favorite Star Trek movie, but it’s also one of my favorite go-to films when I want to watch a good sci-fi flick. I love the story, the script, and most of all, I absolutely adore the costumes and props. Ok, the communicators are shit, but apart from that, this movie is represents the High Renaissance of the Star Trek Universe for me. It was the meeting of the gritty old stylings with newer flashier special effects, and it was glorious. The transporter and phaser effects are breathtaking, but the Starfleet uniforms! God damn, I love these uniforms. But we’ll talk about those another time. Today we’re looking at “Regula-1 Kirk”, and he’s all about that bad-ass Landing Party jacket. I picked up this figure at the Show loose. He was baggied with all his parts, but no packaging, so instead of packaging, we’re going to take a look at the movie poster, which is something else I picked up from this Dealer.

The poster I got is a repro, and it’s still rolled up in a tube, but that’s it pictured above. By, God, but that was the right way to do the poster for Star Trek II. It was Paramount’s way of saying, “We know the first movie bored you to the point where you wanted to commit suicide in your theater seats. But check this shit out!” It’s got explosions and phaser fire and some dude we don’t know yet who looks like he may have just stabbed the hell out of Kirk. There’s mysterious desert people and I’ll be damned if that ain’t Paul Winfield screaming his ass off in a space suit. I saw the poster at the theater when I was about 11 years old and it almost blew my little mind, because I wanted to see what was going on so bad. This poster just captured everything that it meant to be Star Trek and awesome at a time where Starship bridges weren’t carpeted and Earl Gray Tea was served at book clubs and not on Starships. God, I love this movie!

  

Art Asylum did a lot of versions of Kirk from Wrath of Khan, and eventually I hope to look at all of them. But, as you can see, this one is called “Regula-1” Kirk as it’s based off the scenes where he beamed onto the Regula-1 Space Station only to find out that Khan had tortured and murdered the shit out of everyone. The idea of having special gear for landing party duty wasn’t often explored in the original show, but it made sense to me, and that’s where this jacket comes in. The jacket is just bad ass and Kirk being Kirk needs to wear it with the collar up to make him look a little extra bad ass. The jacket is wonderfully recreated here, with all its little patches and pockets and stitching and some very nice paint detailing. Like so many of the designs for TWOK, this thing not only looks cool, but also totally functional. Ok, except maybe for that huge pouch over the ass. How would you get anything out of that? The large Starfleet shoulder patch is present as are the rank insignia on the sleeve, the distinctive diamond pattern on the back, and the Starfleet insignia on the chest. The legs are pretty much the same as the ones used on the regular Wrath of Khan Kirk, with the red piping down the sides and high gloss black paint used for the boots.

  

And then there’s the head sculpt. Yeah… there’s definitely some Shatner in there, but it isn’t one of Art Asylum’s best pieces of work. One of the running themes of TWOK was about Kirk getting old, and that’s kind of ironic in retrospect, since it wasn’t so much a theme more than 10 years later when he was still chasing around the galaxy. I mention it here, because at certain angles, this Kirk head looks a bit older than Kirk from Star Trek II. Everything else here is pretty good and the painted flesh tone is thankfully free of any dirt or smudging. Kirk even has his trademark 24th Century (read early 80’s) pointed sideburns.

Alas, as good as the jacket looks; it really destroys a lot of the figure’s articulation. The head and arms are fine, as you get a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinged elbows. The leg articulation is all still there, and includes swivels in the thighs and hinged knees, but with the jacket extending down to his legs, you really can’t do anything useful with it. It’s kind of ironic, since this is supposed to be the action-packed, “I’m gonna beam down and kick your ass!” Kirk, but given the way the figure is built, I guess it’s understandable.

“Regula-1” Kirk comes with lots of extra hands. You get two replacement sets, and as is often the case with extra hands, I don’t find a lot of need for them. One is sculpted with the comm bracelet that he takes off of Chekov and screams the infamous“KHAAAAAAAAN!” line into. It’s a cool bonus. The other set seems to be slightly better at holding the gear, but not enough to make me want to swap them out. As for the other accessories, you get a phaser and a communicator. The phaser seems to be the same one that came with my Motion Picture Kirk and Spock, which is fine because the prop was more or less the same. The communicator actually opens and closes, and it feels like it’s sized down a bit, which turned out great because the communicators in the movie were ridiculously large and clunky.    
                                                                           

I love this figure as much as I always knew I would, but I also knew that once I bought one Wrath of Khan figure, I would be committed to getting the whole set, and considering that a lot of them were SDCC Exclusives, these figures tend to be more expensive than your average Diamond Select Trek figure. I was able to get MOC Khan and regular Kirk from the same dealer, without getting beat up too badly (I won’t get to those this week, but soon), but those were regular releases and not exclusives. I’ll probably just try to hunt down one of these a month until I’m done.  

Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up the week by looking at a couple more of Playmates’ Classic Trek figures: Harry Mudd and The Mugatu!